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Non-cheesy doramas... do they exist?

Talk about the culture and entertainment from Nihon.
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zutsuu
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Non-cheesy doramas... do they exist?

Post by zutsuu » Oct 1st, '05, 00:30

In the beginning when I started watching asian drama series I could get my kicks out of them just because it was exotic for me. But now I'm looking for more in the storyline department. I'll describe my experiences till now so maybe someone can recommend a drama suitable for me :)
I think my first drama was GTO and I still think of it as one of the best. Though at times I was wondering if the youth in Japan is really that fuckin childish(no, I'm not talking about the kawaii stuff) I thought there was some great criticism against the system.
First season of Gokusen was pretty nice, towards the end I got kinda bored. Gang fights in senior high? Tough guys running happily towards the sunset... wtf!? (I really think all this is to blame on the cheesiness, not cultural differences). Just finished watching Gokusen 2... what a ripoff ^^;. Oh yeah, and the background music was annoying... :D
The 4 episode long Friends was pretty nice, though too shallow for a hippie like me :blink. The thing for me in the series was the differences between Japanese and Korean cultures and of course the scenery :).
I only watched the first episode of You're Under Arrest, because at the time I was very sensitive about drug related opinions and in the episode someone gets arrested for possession of pot among other things and I felt very bad about it :D. Ok, this is really a cultural thing, because I know it's not that easy to discuss various opinions of drugs in Japan as it is here in Europe (even here in ol' conservative Finland). It was also one of the first dramas I had watched, but now I'd say: too cheesy :(
Densha Otoko is also one of my favorites, cheesy, but original. And it's not full of pretty boys with make up on so that's a +. It was an anime style drama in a good way.
Ok, I think that's about it, or at least what comes to my mind now. I should also say that 20th Century Boys and Homunculus are some of my favorite mangas, but I hate basic mecha and scifi :crazy:
Hehe, I guess they're all Japanese series, but I also watch lots of movies from various far east countries. I'd be very grateful if someone can recommend me some nice series :). Maybe my explanation helps a bit :D

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Post by shG » Oct 1st, '05, 00:36

Dramas are usually directed towards the female audiance in Japan. That's why they are so corny and cheezy.

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Post by zutsuu » Oct 1st, '05, 00:40

shG wrote:Dramas are usually directed towards the female audiance in Japan. That's why they are so corny and cheezy.
With drama I don't mean the genre, but "tv series". I can see pics of some historical fighting dramas on the site as well ;). But I'd like to see a more mature love drama as well :D. Something that goes beneath the surface...

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Post by aoi_hana » Oct 1st, '05, 00:41

Hrm.. non cheezy drama?

I think it's hard to find.. but IMO there are a lot less cheese in Jdorama - like GTO, Gokusen (although there is plenty of cheese in some spots as you said). I would also suggest:

Orange Days - Great story, a little cheese. No one dies.
Ace wo Nerae - Tennis story, not so much cheese so far.. only seen 3 eps though.
Good Luck! - A very interesting story.
Hero - Completely cheese-less. Very different, very good.

Full House (Korean) - A really funny series, some cheese.

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Post by mizune » Oct 1st, '05, 00:45

They exist, but they tend to be the darker, less comedic ones...which I've noticed usually means less popular, and probably unsubbed (in English)...
This past winter season actually had 3 non-trivial dramas: Yasahii Jikan, 24 hr Emergency Ward (Kyumei Byoto 24 ji 3rd series, but all of them would probably classify in the same category), and Minna Mukashi wa Kodomo. But I don't think any of them were subbed, unless I missed something...

Mysteries are alway good too....
Koori no Sekai (I think is subbed?)
Suna no Utsuwa (got a lot of good reviews, although I haven't seen it)

I guess melodramas fall under this category as well, but I tend to steer clear of them since they just annoy the heck outta me....

I dunno...

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Post by zutsuu » Oct 1st, '05, 00:45

Thanks :). Maybe I'll try some of those... I also remembered a nice Korean movie: Sex Is Zero. Different and more real than your every day drama :D

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Post by Lowest » Oct 1st, '05, 00:46

would Sekai no chuushin count as cheesy? that's supposedly really good, I've only seen 2 episodes though but I like it so far. I don't think Trick is cheesy either.. it's quite original also.. but I'm not really sure what counts as cheesy :unsure: (I have no idea why I needed to use the word cheesy so many times in this post)

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Post by itachi666 » Oct 1st, '05, 01:10

I would recommend Orange Days. Its my favorite.
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Post by zutsuu » Oct 1st, '05, 01:20

Thanks for the advice ppl ^^. I did some research and I think I'm gonna try Sekai no Chuushin, Orange Days and Hero. It seems Sekai no Chuushin is the only one downloadable at the moment so I'll stick with that.

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Post by Lowest » Oct 1st, '05, 01:56


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Post by groink » Oct 1st, '05, 02:11

Finally - someone who isn't falling for the trendy drama fomula! Congratulations! :)

--- groink

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Post by spacecommand » Oct 1st, '05, 02:21

Yes there are many non cheesy shows out there, you just happened to watched some cheesy ones in your selection.

If you want drama watch Sekai no Chushin, no comedy there, might get you teary eyed in the process.

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Post by 2triky » Oct 1st, '05, 02:29

spacecommand wrote:Yes there are many non cheesy shows out there, you just happened to watched some cheesy ones in your selection.

If you want drama watch Sekai no Chushin, no comedy there, might get you teary eyed in the process.
watch "Million stars falling from the sky" ...it is quite a far cry from the cheesy stuff you referenced......in fact it's very dark and somber at times...stars Kimura Takuya, Eri Fukatsu and Kou Shibasaki

or better yet...watch Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003.....not cheesy...warped, fugged up...but not cheesy.

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Post by rougou » Oct 1st, '05, 05:06

yeh I would recommend "Million stars falling from the sky" too. Nemureru Mori (sleeping forest) is also good though similar to "million stars" in certain ways. These are suspense type dramas by the way.

As for "Orange Days", well I only watched the first episode (to hear Mr.Children's new single at the time) but isn't it pretty much a newer version of "Ai shiteiru to itte kure" ? I know they were both written by the same person and though they wouldn't copy everything, it seemed from what I saw that they reused a lot of things (like replacing the apple with an orange). Kind of like how "Love generation" copies "Tokyo love story". Anyway, I would recommend "Ai shiteiru to itte kure" since it is the original classic, but if you can't get your hands on it, then I guess "Orange Days" is ok.

Also, "Hoshi no kinka" and "Miseinen" were interesting and didn't seem cheesy to me.

Hmm, now that I think about it, the older dramas are a lot less cheesy than the recent ones.

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Post by itachi666 » Oct 1st, '05, 08:19

I dont know about One Million Stars Falling from the Sky, that one got me depressed for a while. :-(

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Post by 2triky » Oct 1st, '05, 08:50

itachi666 wrote:I dont know about One Million Stars Falling from the Sky, that one got me depressed for a while. :-(
but it's precisely because of that sobriety from overused plots and cheesy conventions that it was probably able to elicit such an emotion from you....because it was different, unexpected and heavier than usual.

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Post by aNToK » Oct 1st, '05, 09:02

I recommend Million Falling Stars if you want to avoid cheese. Here's a review in the wiki that some idiot wrote... http://wiki.d-addicts.com/A_Million_Sta ... om_the_Sky

I thought "Pride" was relatively low-cheese, though it was a bit formulaic. Orange Days is always good....

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Post by 2triky » Oct 1st, '05, 09:07

aNToK wrote:I recommend Million Falling Stars if you want to avoid cheese. Here's a review in the wiki that some idiot wrote... http://wiki.d-addicts.com/A_Million_Sta ... om_the_Sky

I thought "Pride" was relatively low-cheese, though it was a bit formulaic. Orange Days is always good....
i agree with those recommendations as well...."pride" is interesting in part for the same reason that "million falling stars" is, in that you will see kimura takuya step out of some of his more stereotypical roles and execute performances in which the character he plays is more flawed, less wholesomely charasmatic but someone who nevertheless possesses a "cult of personality" drawing the viewer in with his acting.

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Post by 2triky » Oct 1st, '05, 09:13

aNToK wrote: Here's a review in the wiki that some idiot wrote...
a thoughtful exposition on your part... your review of the dorama, that is :mrgreen:

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Post by jholic » Oct 1st, '05, 11:48

moving to Japanese Entertainment.

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kinki
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Post by kinki » Oct 1st, '05, 11:54

what about koukou kyoshi 1993? i thought that one was dark and not cheesy? or what do you think?

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Post by Romance » Oct 1st, '05, 11:58

i love cheesyness :P But there are many noncheesy dramas, for example toshishita no otoko i finnished not too long ago

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Post by zutsuu » Oct 1st, '05, 14:05

Thanks for the Orange Days link :)
I gotta try the other dramas too when I have the time.
Humour is not bad at all. I especially like dark/weird humour. Horror and more mature drama is also something I can enjoy in an almost masochistic way :D

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